2008-11-19

iTunes Applications Tab "Greyed Out" (Disabled) for a Registered iPod Touch

I made my first leap into the Apple world yesterday with my shiny new iPod Touch. I messed around on it for 2 hours downloading some game applications and songs.

When I was ready to shut down for the night... I noticed some settings that would allow me to put restrictions on its use. I thought, "Great! Now I can lock my kids out of downloading whatever random application they go looking for, since this Touch is linked to my iTunes account; which is linked to my payment information."

So I turned on the restriction for installing apps; thinking it would only stop someone that was using my iTouch on a Wi-Fi network from installing applications from the App Store. I turned off my iPod and slept for the night.

The next day I fired up iTunes with my trusty Touch connected to the USB on my laptop. I downloaded one more app from iTunes and was going to sync with my Touch.

I clicked on the Applications tab in iTunes for my iPod Touch and all the controls were greyed out (disabled.)

It turns out you need to lift/remove the restriction on your iPod in order to enable iTunes to install an app on it too.


To enable/disable the restriction, navigate to:
Settings >> General >> Restrictions >> Installing Apps

EDIT: Make sure you sync your device after making the change... some have still had the option greyed out after making the change.

Annoying, but safe... and now you know...

35 comments:

Colin said...

OH MY GOSH THANK YOU.

I've been searching everywhere for a fix for this and I NEVER thought it would be related to something I changed on my iPod.

That One Guy said...

Colin:
You're certainly welcome!

It drove me nuts for about an hour or so before remembering I'd set that restriction.

Tanzila said...

man i love you for this.. i have been troubled for like q aweek taht what the hell did i do to grey out the applications.. thanks so much... :)

That One Guy said...

Tanzila:
Glad we could help! :)

Naina said...

Thanks a ton for this post. I was going nuts trying to figure out why that tab was grayed out. Thanks again.

Marcelo Schmidt said...

You are THE MAN!!

Hisham Abboud said...

Thanks a bunch, this was *very* helpful.

Pixelfumes said...

Extremely helpful - thanks a lot!

Anonymous said...

Thanks you, you saved me an hour or more of searching by reading this page.

Anonymous said...

Thanks... this helped me a great deal! Only place I could find an answer. So simple, yet so far out of reach!

That One Guy said...

I'm so glad this post is helping many of you. It perplexed me for some time too!

I hope I can find other similar gems to post here in the future.

Thanks for your kind words.

মেহেদী হাসান আরিফ said...

Thanks for the solution...

ToeKnee said...

What if that doesn't work? My phone's restrictions are off & my applications tab is still greyed out. I'm afraid to "sync" as it says it will take all the apps from my phone off & install the ones from the library which I don't want to do. Any suggestions?

That One Guy said...

@ToeKnee:
I've been very frustrated with that "feature" of iTunes sync as well. Syncing always has me paranoid that something on my iPhone/iPod Touch is going to get messed up.

Here's something that might help:
On the File menu, there is an option called Transfer Purchases from iPod. That should upload any apps purchased on the device itself to your computer.

If you do that, then back up the device in iTunes... I would imagine you would be safe to sync after that.

Does anyone else out there have a better order of operations for ToeKnee?

Rachel A said...

THANK YOU !!! =]
so much.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!!! I looked forever and finally found this post. Really helpful! Thanks again!!!

Charly said...

Thanks a million for this. I've been struggling to get my apps back for a couple of weeks.

Anonymous said...

OMG, that did nothing. My issue is similar but slightly odder. It doesn't matter if I update the apps, everything is authorized and enabled, I've even restored the thing. When I go to sync apps nothing is grayed out but not all of the boxes are checked so I go and tediously check each individual one and tell it to sync. It "syncs" and when it's done the same boxes I had to check individually are no longer checked and didn't sync. Each and every damn time. Only about half my apps load, I've searched countless sites to see if anyone's had/fixed this issue and haven't found a decent reason yet. It doesn't matter if the apps are old or new (all are updated, and they sync randomly..it's not even always the same ones that won't sync each time. It makes no sense!). If anyone has had the same issue I'd love to know how you fixed it (and please don't suggest the obvious update/authorize/enable/restore, I've done all that and everything else I can think of short of calling Apple because in my experience they're more stressful and redundant than they are helpful, just giving generic advice I've already tried). I don't even have music or anything else but apps on it anymore because syncing's been such a time consuming pain - all I want to use it for is the web (which works, though I wish they'd enable flash), books and games (I might even buy more if the ones I have would actually all load when I want them to). Until this issue's resolved I'll continue to loathe Apple because it seems like I've had constant issues since I bought the damn thing (software, not hardware issues..all eventually resolved except this issue).

Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Yeah thanks a lot for that useful tip. If it's still greyed out, diconnect then reconnect your iphone/ipod.
Cheers.

That One Guy said...

Good call on the reconnection as it forces a sync.

I think the key is to sync the device after making the change; otherwise it only makes it in iTunes itself and not on the device.

sam said...

Linked to an iPhone3 my apps are greyed out on the iTunes in this Windows PC and I can't move or save the purchased apps to my iTunes before upgrading the operating system. I tried the solution your wrote about of removing the restriction but that didn't do it for me.
Sam

That One Guy said...

My apologies for those that still aren't working. I wish I knew of a workaround for each of your situations...

Do you get errors after making sure the restriction is lifted, or are things just still greyed out after lifting the restriction?

Anonymous said...

Mine is just still greyed out. My restrictions were turned off, but I tried turning them on, syncing, turning them off, syncing, but nothing. Still grey. A couple dozen apps I now can't get onto my restored iphone.

That One Guy said...

@Those still suffering from this issue:
Do you have the latest iPhone firmware and latest iTunes installed when trying this?

Ron said...

This one just hit me on an iPad after the 4.x iOS update. I found this site and note... from many months ago, and it solved the issue. Thanks AGAIN!

between-the-ends said...

I think I found the answer to the problem (at least my problem). In iTunes, I had to right click on my phone (which I lovingly call "the ship") in the side bar and select transfer purchases. This took a few minutes to transfer all of my apps over to my computer. After doing that, all of my apps showed up and I was able to move them to different screens. So now whenever I sync "the ship", all of my apps are there and I can do what I want with them.

That One Guy said...

@between-the-ends: "Syncing the ship"... love it!!! :)

Katie said...

ACK. Thank you for this. I knew I'd made the restriction on my iPod, but sort of thought it would only restrict my 11yo from downloading directly to iPod. I didn't think of it disabling my app page in iTunes as well. :)

Anonymous said...

*** Filtered comment from "Anonymous" ***

"TY SO MUCH ITS BEEN 4 *$!@#&* YEARS !!!!!!!! U R A GOD . lol i never could find where to turn offr the restrictions."

Nats said...

Great!! I have been searching for this...thank you very much for the info!!

CaroleD said...

THANKS between the ends. Your advice worked for activating my iTunes apps. ... "In iTunes, I had to right click on my phone (which I lovingly call "the ship") in the side bar and select transfer purchases. This took a few minutes to transfer all of my apps over to my computer. After doing that, all of my apps showed up and I was able to move them to different screens. So now whenever I sync "the ship", all of my apps are there and I can do what I want with them."

Anonymous said...

Thank You!

Pranali said...

Thank you sooooooo much !!!!! I searched Apple's support pages for an answer and could't find this solution.

FrenchGuy said...

Thank you for this post, it made crazy for days.